Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: Dangerous Prayer

Dangerous Prayer
By Cheri Fuller
Barbour Publishing, 2015


Dangerous prayers happen when you turn your all over to God and offer yourself as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). They don’t take you to a comfortable, easy place. They test you, stretch you, and take you where you wouldn’t have chosen. They change not only your life but the lives of other people.

Join gifted speaker and award-winning author, Cheri Fuller, as she illustrates—from Bible times to today—what happens when God’s people pray dangerous prayers. Each of the 21 chapters is rooted in scripture and weaves together a beautiful tapestry of lives and kingdoms impacted through the power of prayer.

My thoughts

It’s been years since I’ve read one of Cheri Fuller’s excellent books on prayer, and Dangerous Prayer was a welcome discovery. Interesting, inspirational – but most of all, this collection just might prompt your thinking or cause you to reconsider a quiet whisper of God’s Spirit.

Cheri writes in the introduction that dangerous prayers “start when we turn our efforts over to the Lord and are ready to lay down our agenda for His will.” Following is a moving collection of stories about people who prayed “dangerous prayers” and found themselves and others used or changed in incredible ways. Prayers like . . .

  • “God, do whatever you need to do.”
  • “Break my heart for people.”
  • “Lord, show me the way.”
  • “What do you want me to do?”
  • “Lord, show me what’s on your heart.”
  • “Help me show ____ Your love.”
  • “Launch me, Lord, out into the deep with You . . . past all my reservations, my timidity, and my comfort zone. Whatever this means, break me fee from spiritual mediocrity.”

There’s no doubt as to whom the main character is, and that’s God. It’s also wonderful to see the way He specifically worked in each storyteller’s life and to be reminded that this is the same God at work in our lives. I loved how Cheri points out that even praying the Lord’s Prayer – “God, may Your kingdom come” – is a dangerous prayer because you’re surrendering to God’s plans and letting go of your own.

Dangerous Prayer is an inspiring and challenging book. Recommended.


        Cheri Fuller is a gifted speaker and award-winning author of more than forty books, including The One Year Women’s Friendship Devotional, the bestselling When Mothers Pray, and A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer. Her books have been translated into many languages, and her speaking ministry has provided encouragement to people throughout the U.S. and abroad.
        A former Oklahoma Mother of the Year, Cheri has been a frequent guest on national TV and radio programs. Her articles on family, spiritual growth, relationships, and prayer have appeared in Family Circle, Focus on the Family, Guideposts, and many other publications. Cheri holds a master’s degree in English literature and is executive director of the nonprofit organization Redeeming the Family. She and her husband, Holmes, live in Oklahoma, and have three grown children and six wonderful grandchildren.
        Cheri’s books, Bible studies, and other resources can be found at along with information on her speaking topics and how to schedule Cheri for events. To find out more about the ministry, visit

Thank you to Barbour Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: The Memory Weaver

The Memory Weaver
By Jane Kirkpatrick
Revell, 2015


Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity.

Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

My thoughts

For historical fiction that focuses on America’s pioneer years, Jane Kirkpatrick is outstanding. The Memory Weaver is based on the true account of Eliza Spaulding, daughter of pioneer missionaries Henry and Eliza Spaulding, who ministered to the Nez Perce Indians. In Jane’s capable hands, rich historical detail provides the backdrop for a narrative that beautifully conveys the hardships, emotions, commitment and sheer determination of these early missionaries and settlers to the Oregon Territory.

Jane has a way with words, evidenced in Eliza’s opening line:  "My earliest memory is of laughter inside a waterfall of words." I enjoy reading about historical figures, can’t even begin to imagine all that they endured, and the young Eliza’s character is developed with a depth that I found fascinating. As the title suggests, memory is key in this story as Eliza, haunted by flashbacks, begins reading her mother’s diaries and gradually pieces together memories of a massacre that she not only witnessed, but in which she was taken hostage. Eliza touched my heart when she said, “My shame is living when so many didn’t.”

I love these thought-provoking quotes that give not only a taste of Jane’s writing style, but the overall feel of story as well:

Reflecting at her mother’s graveside, Eliza says, "I didn't know then that the healing of old wounds comes not from pushing tragic memories away but from remembering them, filtering them through love, to transform their distinctive brand of pain."

Regarding her marriage to Warren:  "I'd treat my marriage like Rachel's woodstove, working hard to keep the fire going, not too hot and not too cold, making sure the damper was closed so no outside winds could buffet or send a flame across the floor to burn things up."

And this is especially true:  “Every day is a day that starts a new life, that requires knitting and going back to pick up lost stitches.”

The Memory Weaver is not a fast-paced narrative, but rather an in-depth look at Eliza Spaulding’s memorable life and the wonderful ministry of her family. Recommended to all who enjoy historical fiction.

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of twenty-seven books, including A Light in the Wilderness and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her books have been awarded the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction and have been finalists for many others. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry.

Find Jane online at and Facebook

Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 25, 2015

GIVEAWAY: A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn

I have greatly enjoyed Shelley Shepard Gray’s Brides of Pinecraft series, and it was so good to return to the setting and characters with this third book, A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn. In my review I wrote:

"Shelley Shepard Gray has a gift for making not only characters, but setting, come alive in this Amish Brides of Pinecraft series. Pinecraft, the small Amish community in the heart of Sarasota, Florida, offers a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere – and worship takes place in an Amish church rather than in their own homes. From ice cream at Olaf’s to pie at Yoder's, Shelley has made this community seem so real. It is delightful to see characters from the previous two books pop in occasionally, yet this story can stand alone." (See my full review here)

One of you will win a print copy of this book, thanks to Litfuse Publicity. All you need to do is share and leave a comment. Details at the end of this post.


In the third book of New York Times-bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, a wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty---a handsome widower with three young sons of his own---Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship---and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband's memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma's gentleness with Jay's boys stirs something in his heart that's been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son's joy, Jay wonders if it's time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?



To enter the drawing for A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn . . .

1) If you're on Facebook, please go to my Facebook page and share about this giveaway ("likes" are also very much appreciated).

2) If you enjoy Amish fiction, please recommend a title you have enjoyed recently.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Thursday, October 1. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

Thursday, September 24, 2015

An Amish Christmas Gift: Book Chat with Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

To countdown the October 6th release of An Amish Christmas Gift, come join a book club party to celebrate!
Starting on 9/29 and happening every Tuesday through 10/13, Amy, Ruth, and Kelly will take turns hosting special book club chats on their Facebook pages for each novella in the collection. Each week, you can chat with them, swap recipes, and enter to win prizes!
The first book club chat will be next Tuesday, September 29th, at 7:00 PM (EST).
Ready to join the party? Mark your calendars now!

Week #1 – Amy Clipston
9/29 at 7:00 pm (EST)

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston

Naomi has begun to believe that she isn’t meant to find love, but she might receive more than she has ever hoped for this Christmas.

Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches, Naomi is certain that her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

Week #2 – Ruth Reid
10/6 at 7:00 pm (EST)

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid

Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?

Being a caregiver for Micah Zook’s grandmother is the answer to Abigail’s prayers. In fact, the elderly lady keeps finding ways to set Abigail up with her grandson. Despite Abigail’s constant chatter, Micah realizes he’s beginning to care for her—until he makes a decision that leaves her feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal the true feelings of his heart?

Week #3 – Kelly Irvin
10/13 at 7:00 pm (EST)

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.

Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?